CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - With Thanksgiving approaching, Seven Bridges Middle School invited human rights activist Kerry Kennedy to speak on Tuesday, in hopes of reminding its fifth and sixth grade students of what they have to be thankful for and how to help those that are less fortunate.
"We do have a lot to be thankful for," said social studies teacher Brian O'Connor. "Our school, our community, your families, each of us individually. There's a lot of things, not just this week where we have this school holiday where we all eat turkey that we should be thinking about all the things we have to be thankful for."
During her speech, Kennedy frequently turned the microphone on the students, asking them who their favorite activists were and to name moments they were forced to be brave. "Bravery is: you're scared to do something and you do it anyway, said Kenendy.
Kennedy urged the students to take the bravery they displayed in those moments, including something as small as riding a rollercoaster, and use it to stand up for others when they need help.
"We have to be angry enough to speak out when we see injustice in our world, said Kenendy. When you see something that is wrong, you gotta stand up."
One of those injustices she said students see on an everyday basis is bullying. Kennedy believes bullying occurs when it is ignored by others, and that fellow students can put an end to it bullying simply by speaking up. We do not stand by when somebody's getting bullied in this school. What we do, when you see a bully, you say 'that's not OK,'" said Kennedy.
Other areas where Kennedy said students can help is by donating food or planting trees. "What you need, really, is a heart full of love, said Kennedy. Everybody's got that. And you need a sense of courage, and what I think we've heard today, is that every single person in this room have bravery going for you."
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